TESTIMONY DURING STATE HEARING POSITIVE FOR ETHANOL

Lindsay Mitchell

May, 22, 2013  |  Today's News

Yesterday, during a hearing hosted by the Illinois House Revenue and Finance Committee, several Illinoisans underscored the positive aspects of ethanol to members of the Illinois General Assembly that were excited to hear of its success.

The Committee, hosted by Representative Bradley – coincidentally also the sponsor of H.B. 165, the Consumer Fuel Choice for Illinois Act – wanted to hear about the current sales tax for ethanol, it’s impact on the citizens of Illinois, it’s estimated cost to the state, and a little bit about future plans for the fuel.

Among those testifying were Rich Clemmons, GovPlus Consulting; Rich Ruebe, CEO of Illinois River Energy; Angela Tin, American Lung Association of Illinois; and Dave Loos, Illinois Corn Growers Association.

“Before the General Assembly can really move forward to consider ethanol’s role in our future economy, they need to evaluate were we’ve been and what programming and legislation has made us successful. Because the fact is that the current sales tax incentive to promote cleaner air, fuel independence, and rural economies has been a tremendous success. Illinois is currently nearly 100 percent saturated with 10 percent blends of ethanol,” said Loos.

During the hearing, the Committee heard how E10 has been successful improving air quality in the Chicagoland area. Chicago has almost met their ozone standards and much of the credit for the gains goes to the reformulated gasoline program which contains 10 percent ethanol. Additionally, the Committee was briefed on the economic benefits of the ethanol industry to the state including $1.09 savings for every consumer and 4,000 total jobs.

The Committee also revisited the proposed legislation. The Consumer Fuel Choice for Illinois would remove the current sales tax incentive for E10, and replace it with a lower incentive for E15, saving the state an estimated $135 million per year while still allowing programing for increased infrastructure in Illinois to promote growth in the industry.